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March 14, 2002

Contact: Erik Christianson
(608) 262-5061

Enrollment Demand Far Ahead of Last Year

MADISON-The number of new students seeking admission to the University of Wisconsin System is far outpacing last year's demand.

According to the most recent campus admissions figures, applications for undergraduate admission to the UW System have jumped by 6,147, a 10 percent increase compared to the same time last year.

As of Friday, the UW System had already admitted 2,624 more new freshmen compared to last year at this time, a 6 percent increase.

There are 6,515 undergraduate applications that are currently pending because of the Board of Regents' suspension on any further undergraduate admissions. In addition, there are 5,017 transfer applications that are pending. These numbers could increase, as students apply later in the admissions process at some UW institutions.

The capacity to admit any more new students this year depends on the outcome of the state budget process, said UW System Board of Regents President Jay L. Smith.

"Demand for enrollment in the UW System continues to rise, and we have already admitted more students than we did last year at this time, which is a strong statement about our commitment to access and to the people of Wisconsin," Smith said Thursday.

Smith reiterated that the UW System has pledged to manage Gov. Scott McCallum's proposed $51 million cut to the university. But additional cuts proposed by the Joint Finance Committee and the Assembly Republican Caucus would eliminate the UW's ability to accommodate more students, he said.

"We realize this is an anxious time for student and parents," Smith said. "Yet it is only wise not to proceed any further with admissions until we are sure we have the resources necessary to meet our obligations to our students and provide them with a quality education. The UW System is an excellent value and we must preserve it."

The final number of new freshman admitted to the UW last year was 53,831-a difference of 8,187 compared to the number of new freshmen admitted as of Friday. Actual enrollment of new freshmen last fall was 27,993; there were 10,215 transfer students enrolled as well last fall. Total UW System enrollment for Fall 2001 was 159,433 students.

Citing the uncertainty of the state budget process, the Board of Regents on Friday suspended any further undergraduate admissions. Students already admitted to the UW System are not affected by the decision. In addition, UW System President Katharine C. Lyall earlier this week ordered a hiring freeze pending the outcome of state budget cuts.


UW System Applications of Degree-seeking New Freshmen

Applications for Fall 2002
 As of March 9, 2002Final Admits
 ApplicationsAdmissionsIn ProcessFall 2001
UW-Eau Claire6,6134,518744,656
UW-Green Bay2,3521,6173011,930
UW-La Crosse5,5993,252503,462
UW-River Falls2,4891,8672762,019
UW-Stevens Point4,2162,9383563,184
UW Colleges3,3152,6757524,846

*Includes cancellations, multiple applications to more than one institution, denials and incomplete applications.

**This figure will likely increase, as students apply later than March at some institutions.